XIV. SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE
Mrs. C. L. Baum
Studies in Divine Science
The Colorado College of Divine Science
Denver, Colo., 4th ed., 1924.
Perhaps it has occurred to you many times to ask: “What shall be the true and infallible guide to life?” You have learned that true guidance must be spiritual and come from within, but perhaps you have wondered how you were to recognize the promptings of that invisible Spirit, that still small voice, so that you might follow it confidently, knowing that it would lead you only into truth. Let us consider the various guides that might be followed, and by eliminating the false, see more clearly wherein we may safely place our reliance.
The voice of the external is not a safe guide. It recognizes the negative as well as the positive and labels its life of personality with disease, lack, sorrow and death. It produces shadow conditions that darken the years of the soul while on the earth plane, and speaks of unreality as though it has power to affect the true life. Taken all in all, the voice of the external world and its activities is designed to lead us only into a belief of confusion and mixed thought from which it will be very difficult to extricate ourselves. It is best to abandon it completely and cease from following after it.
As you give the subject a little thought you will experience a growing distrust of the generally accepted means of ordering your life. The preachers cease to interest you and the physicians fail to heal you. Having experienced everything which the external has to offer, you are forced to the conclusion that you must look elsewhere for true guidance.
You turn to the mental realm. You begin to think and reason. You find someone whom you conceive to be a great soul and who seems to have found the truth. You temporarily establish yourself in his doctrine. You think his thoughts and order your life accordingly. But even this proves unsatisfactory to your soul’s desire and you begin to wonder where this great soul got his knowledge of truth. You argue that there must be some original source of all knowledge, and you determine to get your own ideas at the fountain head.
You have heard and read much concerning the silence and the voice of the silence, and you seek the invisible guiding power through this medium. Here again you may be temporarily unsuccessful. We regard the whole invisible plane as the silence simply because we are more or less in ignorance of what the invisible holds. There are thousands of voices and countless thoughts in the mental atmosphere, and it is as unlikely that one should learn truth from that atmosphere as from the confusion of tongues in the external. All of the thoughts that come for admission to your consciousness, do not carry the truth you are seeking. The mere fact that a thought comes to you from the invisible is no test of its infallibility, and thus we see that a false guidance may be encountered in the silence as well as in the outer.
The mental confusion that this gives rise to is well illustrated in anyone who desires spiritual help, but who is aware of two voices within – one urging reliance on Divine Science and the other arguing that no help can come from such a source. Each of these silent voices comes in turn to control such an individual, and unless discrimination is made between the true and the false voice, the right step will not be taken.
Impulse may be mistaken for the still, small voice for which you are listening. But impulse is only a shadow brother of intuition, and will often lead you astray. It is the expereicne of many who first come into this thought, that they may listen in the silence for many months and sometimes years before they experience the voice of the Spirit as the guiding force in their lives. They listen apparently in vain, waiting intently, but hearing nothing until some day they suddenly hear the true voice of spiritual guidance. There is no confusion in thought at such a time and the experience is one never to be forgotten. The life is changed, the shadows flee and the individual becomes conscious of the divine self within.
Now you may rightfully question: “Whence comes this voice and to whom does it belong?” It is the voice of your real self and comes wholly from within you. It is the divine indwelling Presence, holy and pure, knowing and expressing only the truth which is suitable for your place of unfoldment. It speaks with few words, gives no long intellectual discourses. It speaks simply and does not argue. All argument is caused by disagreement among the thought children of your own mentality and has no connection with the voice of Truth. To abide by the result of argument in your mentality is not to be compared with following the voice of the intuition; the one leads to confusion, the other to clear vision and action.
You will get no false guidance from the voice of your inner true self. It stands back of all the unreality that your mentality brings to you, and is always ready to help when recognized and appealed to. But even though you hear this voice, you may not choose to follow, for the voice calls not to ease, comfort and material joys. It counsels you to follow and uphold whatsoever things are true; and in the conventional standards of the world today this is not always easy or pleasant. To be true to self is sometimes the hardest task we can take up, for we have been following untrue paths for so long that the old habits are hard to break.
You will not always have to go into the silence in order to hear the voice of your inner self. It always speaks and tells you what is right. You need ask no outer teacher, no book, no invisible friend for the truth; for the Presence that is within you is greater than all that is without. Listen and obey the voice. Speak the truth. Act without hesitation or argument.
If at any stage in your unfoldment you feel that you are not ready for the highest statement made by those whose consciousness is more expanded than your own, do not strive to force yourself to believe simply because someone else whom you respect makes the statement. Lean only on your own perception, rejoicing in the measure of truth that you do perceive, and you will find that you will be guided into greater comprehension of truth. The whole race is growing into a higher consciousness and the Presence within is pressing forward for greater expression. This is an evidence of confidence in the divine promptings from within, of true self-confidence, which is the beginning of spiritual growth.
At first it is not your part to lead, but to follow. You are not expected to blaze the new trail, but to rely on the leading of the Spirit within, keeping the thought receptive and willing to listen to the voice of Truth. Until you learn to have faith in your own divine promptings you are a follower and not a leader. As you progress and are lifted up, as your convictions grow in strength and your consciousness of truth increases, your light will illumine the way for others. Every great religious or philosophical movement has had a leader to whom the truth was revealed in the highest degree. If all the followers of such movements had received the same revelation, the progress of truth would have been wonderful.
Do not make laborious efforts at spiritual insight. Let your silent periods be short and many – rather than long and few. Neither should you hasten to convert the world to something which you may, as yet, only believe without having a firm conviction and knowledge of its truth. You are in no danger of losing the respect of others if you quietly stand fast in your faith, bearing witness to the truth as you know it. You may be sure that if your light is always shining, you will be sought out by such as wish to have the dark places of their lives illumined. The voice from within will guide you in these matters as in all else.
The Presence whose guidance we seek is everywhere. It is the same Spirit which was in Jesus and which is now in you and in us all. To know its voice and live in harmony with it, is peace and joy and life eternal.
SUGGESTIONS TO THOSE WHO WISH TO BE LED BY THE SPIRIT.
By Nona L. Brooks
We are where we are by Law, not by chance.
Each individual has a mission.
The God-life has been given to each; a great trust is for a great purpose.
Each may know what his mission is and can fulfill it, if he is willing to be led by the Spirit to that end.
The following suggestions are offered:
1. Lay aside ambition and personal desire.
2. Be willing to go when called and wherever led.
3. Declare steadfastly:
(a) That the Spirit knows what is best for you.
(b) That the Spirit is guiding you there – to your own place.
(c) That whatever is best to prepare and develop you for this mission will come through the Spirit.
(a) That each kind of work that comes to you is part of the plan and must be done heartily as unto God.
(b) That work is “high” or “low” not according to the kind, but according to the motive that prompts it and the disposition in which it is accomplished. The individual exalts the work.
(c) That the whole need in harmonizing environment, changing conditions, removing limitations and in realizing peace, plenty and success, is to work with one’s own self.
5. Cultivate the habit of trustful thinking.
6. Insist on inward serenity.
7. Look upon your present occupation as God-given, and love it. Rest assured that as soon as you have fulfilled in this, the next will come.
8. Be very certain, in any responsibility thrown upon you by the Spirit, that by the same Spirit, will you be given the wisdom and strength to execute it.
9. Keep your thought from evil and your lips from guile:
(a) Do not read the “horrors” in the newspapers. Do not talk about them.
(b) Do not discuss inharmonious conditions.
(c) Do not worry, fear nor doubt.
(d) See the good in every one and in every thing.
10. Repeat often:
Self-interest does not influence me.
Impulse does not guide me.
Prejudice does not warp me.
Opinion does not bind me.
Neither family nor friends hinder me.
Self-depreciation does not limit me.
Remembrance of the past or fear of the future does not weaken me.
I do not limit God’s power.
Let us have patience that, after we have done the will of God, we may receive the promise.
“Sufficient unto each moment is the Wisdom and Strength thereof.”
THE INDWELLING GOD
Go not, my soul, in search of him,
Thou wilt not find him there,
Or in the depths of shadow dim
Or heights of upper air.
For not in far off realms of space
The Spirit hath its throne;
In every heart it findeth place,
And waiteth to be known.
Thought answereth alone to thought,
And soul with soul hath kin.
The outward God, he findeth not
Who finds not God within.
And if the vision comes to thee,
Revealed by inward sign,
Earth will be full of Deity
And with His glory shine.
Then go not thou in search of Him,
But to thyself repair,
Wait thou within the silence dim,
And thou shalt find him there.
– F. L. Hosmer.
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